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clone an exchange 2010 server in vmware

Posted on 2013-06-15
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Last Modified: 2013-06-18
Greetings,

I have a new 2008 R2 server ready to install exchange. I am installing two exchange 2010 servers. Can I clone the VM and use one for each exchange install? Further, the exchange servers will both be multi-role (CAS/HT/MBX), so could I install exchange then clone so I don't have to install it twice? If that is possible, what are the caveats I need to be aware of before putting them into production?

thanks
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Question by:rpliner
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by:Randy Downs
Randy Downs earned 150 total points
ID: 39250126
Maybe this will help

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/exchange-2010-on-vmware-best-practices-guide.pdf
This guide provides best practice guidelines for deploying Exchange Server 2010 on vSphere. The
recommendations in this guide are not specific to any particular set of hardware or to the size and scope
of any particular Exchange implementation. The examples and considerations in this document provide
guidance, but do not represent strict design requirements as the flexibility of Exchange Server 2010 on
vSphere allows for a wide variety of valid configurations.


http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/147156-virtualize-my-existing-2010-server

In general, shut down as many services as possible before converting. Exchange and SQL are good examples. I've converted and Exchange server without shutting down Exchange, but I did it after hours so there were no logons and I temporarily stopped inbound mail.

As long as your services are in use, the likelihood of data corruption is high. IOW, if you still have users logged on to Exchange, that's bad. Really bad. So shutting down the Exchange services will prevent data corruption of Exchange. Since you can't really shut down Active Directory, that's the reason why AD usually gets corrupted, thus requiring a repair or restore of AD after the conversion. Thus the recommendation to DCPROMO.

And it doesn't matter that your Exchange is on your DC to do the DCPROMO thing. What that means is you create a new server, join it to the domain as a member server, then run DCPROMO on the new server to make it an additional DC. (So now you have two DCs.) Then move over the FMSO roles and eventually DCPROMO the old server to demote it from a DC. This is the same as if you were replacing your server with another physical server. But now the new server is a virtual machine, not a physical machine. Yes, it's a little more complicated, but the only way to prevent data corruption of AD.

From my experience, if you do not kick off your users (e.g.: shut down Exchange,) you're likely to get data corruption. You really must have everyone logged off in order to have even a small chance for this to work.
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by:rpliner
ID: 39250207
Thanks. I'll check out that first link. Though, since this is exchange I think I'll just take the time to do everything from scratch.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 175 total points
ID: 39250304
Do NOT CLONE!

If you are going to CLONE, make sure you SYSPREP it!
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by:rpliner
ID: 39250311
Thanks. Yeah, going to do it from scratch. Don't want to take any chances.

Hate to ask but I posted this a few days ago and haven't gotten a response. If either of you, or anyone else which reads this, has any ideas, thanks.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28156489.html
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Manpreet SIngh Khatra earned 175 total points
ID: 39250987
I would prefer to go with a fresh install as if issues afterwards it will haunt you very badly so take sometime but do it as a fresh install of Windows\Exchange

- Rancy
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by:rpliner
ID: 39256755
thanks. doing from scratch
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